The arrival of a new NEVERMORE album should always be considered a gift to the metal community and The Obsidian Conspiracy is no exception. Both great and good songs are what make NEVERMORE’s latest another success. And as we’ve come to expect, there are the invaluable, intangible characteristics of powerful emotions, fierceness, and metal spirit. “And the Maiden Spoke” is highly reminiscent of KING DIAMOND-style story telling as it deals with the ghost of a maiden. “Emptiness Unobstructed” is hands down one of the best songs that the band have ever written. The song opens up with a brilliantly emotional and compelling chorus led by vocalist Warrel Dane. “Without Morals” contains another one of the band’s best and passionate choruses. “The Obsidian Conspiracy,” scorches with urgency and the kind of tension that perfectly ends the album.
As much as the band have demonstrated just how insanely proficient and talented they are at their respective instruments, there are times on the new album when you feel as if they’ve gotten even better. Just the opening riff of the album with its lighting speed notes and precision is enough to make you shake your head. One aspect of the brilliance that lays on The Obsidian Conspiracy is the band’s ability to take a commonly used metal riffing style, tempo, etc. and give it a fresh, inventive, and invigorating stamp on it. As much as there are these young metal bands being touted for their technical prowess, few bands aside from latter era DEATH, DECAPITATED, or NILE can touch NEVERMORE’s absolutely intense, technical brilliance.
While it may or may not be obvious, Warrel Dane is one of the best (clean) vocalists in one of the heaviest bands in metal. His charisma and his ability to make all his memorable vocal lines sound absolutely natural and potent is something that should never be underappreciated. He may be one of the last of a dying breed.
If you want to know what defines “modern metal,” The Obsidian Conspiracy is exhibit 1. (Century Media Records)